Just for fun: “Reforged”. Pairings optional. Tetsuki is reborn in the LoK era, years after her execution.

This is definitely an Iron Will!AU (or, maybe, I’ll steal the title Reforged as the actual run of Iron Will like how Trailblazers used to be named something else, because this title is SO AMAZING) and because of that I kind of want to do a lot of different reborn!AUs.

Like… in one she’s born to Fire Nation parents which is… okay? She’s okay. Definitely. Hell, she worked alongside the Fire Lord (Zuko, that is) she can handle a pair of normal civilians that just happen to be Fire Nation.

Her parents don’t understand why she shivers in their presence, constantly, even in the summer heat. Why she flinches away from too much red fabric and glances longingly, but not too often, at their kitchen knives.

It’s not entirely fear, though. A lot of it is guilt.

She’s about eight when she stops trying and failing to pretend to be normal and tries to get a meeting with retired Fire Lord Zuko.

Needless to say, the royal guards do not find this child’s requests particularly compelling.

Eventually, though, some guard takes pity on her–or gets fed up–and passes on her bizarre message: Tetsuki wants Jet’s hook-swords back.

And it eventually ends up with Tetsuki as Iroh II’s equally (if not MORE) reckless subordinate in the United Forces (she hates the uniform with a passion).

Every so often, she’ll send a letter watering down her adventures to her parents who–while they still don’t quite understand her–are very proud and love her.

Then there would be her being born to Air parents which means… Tenzin?

Hrm… that’s rather too close, isn’t it? Maybe Bumi, but considering he’s also part of the United Forces that’d be running a little close to the previous, wouldn’t it? Then again, that’s just a small similarity. Perhaps she is biologically Bumi’s daughter but raised by a single mother.

Also, I should clarify, Tetsuki isn’t a bender in any of these–even after the Harmonic Convergence.

And so the story is about Tetsuki as a lost link in the chain that is Aang and Katara’s descendants because Bumi had a ~casual encounter~ several years ago. I’m not sure if Bumi knows about her existence, but she definitely knows about his.

Unsure where I’m going with this particular version of Reforged, but that’s the only thing I can think of for Air.

Water would be… well I have two very different ideas for this. One is the more dramatic and difficult to pull off daughter-and-secret-shame-of-Tarrlok. Secret shame because she isn’t a bender, that is. Because that puts a really weird twist on the “his brother was pretending to be a nonbender but his daughter is actually a nonbender and he created/passed a lot of discriminatory laws against nonbenders”

Like all politicians, Tarrlok is a giant hypocrite.

The second is less dramatic but not entirely devoid of it, because in this Tetsuki would be Tahno’s nonbender sister. Who is largely unimpressed by his arrogance and, later, his lack of arrogance due to his lack of bending.

In either, her name would still be Tetsuki but instead of Iron Will it’d be Hand of the Moon.

And lastly Earth… again.

I guess if I went with the dramatic Tarrlok-daughter for Water I could do a similar thing as the Tahno’s sister except instead use his teammate Ming. And, well, he does have black hair and gray eyes. LIKE TETSUKI.

I’ll be honest, I stopped watching LoK before Kuvira appeared, so while I know of some of the other Earth bending characters later in the series, I don’t know them enough to feel like I’d want to put Tetsuki in their vicinity.

I suppose I could do another sort of dramatic Earth equivalent of the Water ones and have her be the daughter of a Metalbending Police officer. But instead of an evil one, maybe just a highly stressed one–like Saikhan?

Iron Will, for sure. I’d like to know what Azula thought of Tetsuki – she’s probably the one few kids as willing to kill as her.

Ooh… okay. See, the thing is, I know Azula and Tetsuki meet at least once (before the “epilogue arc” of politics, imprisonments, and executions.) But I haven’t yet figured out when exactly or how often so this is not firmly canon for Iron Will.

However, because you brought it up, I do quite like the idea of Azula and Tetsuki meeting frequently enough for them to form not entirely negative opinions of each other.

Thanks for the prompt, generic-name-goes-here, I hope you like it! ( ˘ ³˘)♥

~

You shake off the hypnotism.

No, it doesn’t even touch you, like water against a turtle duck’s shell.

The Dai Li are caught off guard.

They’ve taken your friends and they’ve taken your knives–you’re desperate and have nothing to lose. Teeth and nails; unerring, vicious accuracy and a frenetic, unpredictable rhythm.

For a single, optimistic second you think you might be able to win.

But you are underground and they are earth benders.

(Your tactics are designed to be used against Fire Nation soldiers, in the comfortable setting of forests, not caves.)

They bring you to the Fire Princess, force you to kneel, blood still dripping down your chin. You bare your teeth, streaked with red, and refuse to speak.

“What a waste,” she says with a surprising amount of sincerity, as if honestly bemoaning the fact that this near feral teenager won’t pledge fealty to her.

She’s about a decade too late for that.

///

Frankly, you’re not on the same level as the others.

Your struggles were smaller scale–single towns and individual murders–nothing so far reaching as royalty or the balance of nations. The fate of this world does not rest on your shoulders.

And yet, that’s why you get involved: it shouldn’t have to rest on any one person’s shoulders.

You’ve never killed a king before, but you’re more than ready to step up if the Avatar can’t do it.

Instead, on the day of black sun, you find yourself facing the Fire Princess once more.

Jet’s hook swords are still a little clumsy in your hands, a mediocre showing of his signature weapons, but you think he wouldn’t mind too much when you’re trying to kill Fire Nation scum with them.

“Didn’t I kill you?” the Fire Princess asks, ducking under a swing, almost conversational.

Getting struck by lightning isn’t exactly on your list of experiences to repeat–the most painful thing your body has been through, like your blood boiling from the inside–but you didn’t die from it.

(Actually–not that you’ll ever tell anyone–you were able to walk away after a few minutes, not a single burn or scar to show for it.)

“That little zap?” you sneer back, and you think it must be the swords’ influence because you were never one for repartee like this, “You’ll have to try harder than that.”

Weirdly enough, the Fire Princess smiles.

///

You don’t see her again until After, when she is but a shadow of her former self.

There is no life for her here–or anywhere, really. Compassion’s not really your thing, but you never believed in drawing out a death.

“I can make it quick. Clean and quiet,” you offer, unnerved at yourself. Not about the actual offer, but the recipient.

The guards have no idea what you are talking about.

Her head tilts. A spark of something showing through her eyes, “Make it loud. Make it bright. Make it messy.”

Despite the restraints, she is commanding, she is regal. You wonder what your life would be like if you had met her much earlier.

“I want to go out with a bang.”

~

A/N: I only now realize how this could be interpreted as Tetsuki x Azula. I mean, that’s not what I intended, but if you want to see it that way feel free to do so?

Check out the Ask Box Author’s Cut event!

If you’re still taking prompts, then Tetsuki and Aang. ATLA. “You don’t understand.” “What do you mean ‘I don’t understand’, I’m the Avatar! I’ve been reborn so many times!” Title: Parallel

Parallel

Patterns and pathways and daredevil, desperate plans.

An additional gear doesn’t always make things worse, but it doesn’t necessarily make things better either.

Or, Sozin’s Comet is approaching and Tetsuki makes an offer.

Oooh, @generic-name-goes-here, another Tetsuki prompt, you make my heart all a flutter. 😀

I really have not thought about the greater, you know, plot of Iron Will. Mostly I’ve written the angsty backstory before Tetsuki meets the Gaang and the even angstier epilogue when Tetsuki volunteers to be executed for political reasons. I really ought to re-watch the series and write Iron Will that way, but my fear of commitment and awful time management is showing.

Er, anyway!

Your previous prompt, Rust, had Tetsuki going full confessional on Toph post-series which I still think would hold true. If anyone of the Gaang is going to get the entire story from Tetsuki, I do think it would be Toph because there is a sense of solidarity being pragmatic Earth Kingdom girls as well as being outsiders or, rather, newcomers.  

That being said, I do agree that the topic of reincarnation would be something that Tetsuki is highly conscious of whenever she interacts with Aang. More so than the whole “fate of the world rests on his shoulders” thing.

In an unusual turn of events, her cynicism is actually kinder because she’s not banking on a twelve year old to save the world. Mostly because she doesn’t think the world can be “saved” per se–as much as she hates the Fire Nation, them taking over the world just means that her already powerful enemy just gets more power. Her acts of rebellion has always been small scale and the problem is humanity, not any specific nationality.

The thing is, I’m not entirely sure how the topic of reincarnation would be broached. And, also,  how/when Tetsuki and Aang would have a private heart-to-heart. Because she’s definitely not going to talk about it out in the open.

Does Tetsuki actually join the Gaang–or become Gaang adjacent, somehow? Or is it something like their paths frequently intertwine.

Then again… I mean the last four episodes he’s separated from the group while the rest of the Gaang go to June to find him. And that’d be some good drama considering June is Tetsuki’s estranged/long lost sister (who thinks Tetsuki is dead so…)

But her intruding on Aang’s introspective lion turtle sabbatical seems not only unnecessary but detrimental and also really unlikely. Like. Why and how would she end up on the lion turtle too?

Getting off track, I think.

Basically, she offers to kill the Fire Lord for him? He says no, though, because it’s something he has to do on his own (is it his destiny?) but having just been confronted with his past selves he’s not as horrified by her offer as he was during their first meeting.

I think mostly he’d be curious as to why she even offers or why she is so ruthless. Which leads into the reincarnation confession, like:

“My first life I was a Guardian. In title, only. I was trained to be an assassin, and I… I was decent at it.

“My second life I thought if I worked hard, if I fought well then my friends wouldn’t leave me. Or that maybe I could go back.

"I suppose for this life I’m just sticking to what I know…”

Tetsuki in any life has never been entirely mentally healthy. In her first life her parents were neglectful and she really early on got conscripted into a violent criminal organization–hurray canonical teenage mafia. In her second life she was an orphan in a highly militaristic world. So needless to say, she’s some combination of traumatized and depressed and while I’m reluctant to flat out call her suicidal she is disconcertingly eager to throw her life away. Maybe in hopes of getting back to her first life but at this point she’s just apathetic to everything.

Zuko, post-series, is her unwitting knife; Aang doesn’t fall for it during Sozin’s Comet.

I do wonder now how he reacts to her post-series execution. If maybe she timed it for when he wouldn’t be able to hear about it and interfere, or if he, by this point, deliberately turned away because he knows she’s been waiting to move on.

I don’t know, @generic-name-goes-here, you’re always bringing up such good points.

Tetsuki, Toph. ATLA. “Why don’t you bend?” Title: Rust.

@generic-name-goes-here, you asked for Tetsuki! As in, my OC Tetsuki from Iron Will! (✿ ♥‿♥)

And what an excellent choice of title 🙂

Rust

Everyday Lady Beifong visits her and everyday asks the same question.

There is no answer that will satisfy both of them.

Okay so for those who don’t know who Tetsuki is–she’s my OC for many things, but in an ATLA context, she’s in my series Iron Will. As I’ve written her she’s essentially a foil to Jet of the Freedom Fighters, and is very much the human equivalent of a stray cat.

She can sense metal but as far as anyone (including herself) knows she’s not a bender.

Then again, I’ve yet to have her meet Toph in Iron Will and I hadn’t really considered it. I was pretty sure the timing of the Gaang’s actions and the Tetsuki’s own travels wouldn’t coincide that well, but they do all end up in Ba Sing Se eventually…

Hm… I haven’t planned Iron Will that far in advance, but I do quite like the idea of them meeting.

So Rust would be post-canon by several years, when Zuko is Fire Lord and Tetsuki has convinced him that he needs to execute his sister and father to quash any who would try to “restore them to power.” In order to appease the Fire Nation citizens, though, an Earth Kingdom war criminal ought to be executed as well–and Tetsuki is, with Jet having died in Ba Sing Se, the de facto leader of the Freedom Fighters (who, with her guidance were a lot more ruthless and effective than just a rowdy bunch of orphans living in the trees).

Anyway, so she’s being held in prison until then. Despite the summary, it’ll probably be in Toph’s POV. As future Chief of Police (in canon universe, anyway) Toph isn’t the kind of person who would accept someone’s execution as a political maneuver even if it was the to-be-executed’s idea. She probably tries many different routes to have Tetsuki freed–going to Zuko, to Aang, maybe to the Earth King even–but unless she literally breaks Tetsuki out herself (and she can, it’s a metal prison, of course she can but that would just incite awful consequences which the execution was supposed to prevent in the first place.)

I quite like the idea that Tetsuki would call Toph Lady Beifong, in a weird mix of overly formal and sarcastic. Because the Beifong family is RIDICULOUSLY well known to any Earth Kingdom citizen, but also I figure Toph can dish out the nicknames, but she can’t really take it and Tetsuki knows it. But it’s a fond and respectful teasing. Earth Kingdom solidarity even if they couldn’t be farther apart class wise.

Toph visits her everyday, as per the summary, and they basically talk out everything. Tetsuki’s past, Toph’s past, their philosophical beliefs on various things. Bending. It’s basically the confessionals of Tetsuki and she’s entrusting her life story to Toph.

Tetsuki spent most of this life angry and bitter and empty and she took it out on the world around her. Some of that she channelled into fighting, but a lot of it she kept inside herself to fester.

In a way, it’s basically her suicide note. In a different way, it’s a message of apology and gratitude that Tetsuki hopes Toph will deliver for her. To her sister, to her few remaining Freedom Fighters, to the rest of the Gaang who were never as fond of her as Toph. To Toph herself.

I’m actually unsure whether or not Tetsuki ought to be able to bend. Because the reason why I have her able to sense metal is that in her previous two lives she had electromagnetic abilities and it sort of carried over to this world too (and, as she herself learns in her teen years, her father was from Earth Kingdom but her mother was Fire Nation).

Not being able to is okay and stays true to her ruthlessness (if she had the ability she definitely would have used it). But I do kind of like the idea of her being able to. And if so, I think at the end, as Tetsuki is being led away by prison guards to the execution, she gives Toph a chain link. The chain of her manacles is one link shorter than it used to be.

There’s a sense of hopelessness evoked with the title Rust and it works quite well with the slated ending for Iron Will. I’m really happy with this prompt, @generic-name-goes-here, you’ve made me consider a lot of things for the series that I hadn’t touched at all. So thanks! 🙂